Arsenal signing issues warning to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker

Arsenal's new signing Gabriel Paulista is ready to fight for a first-team place

Gabriel Paulista says he is relishing the fight for a first-team place with Arsenal centre-halves Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

The uncapped Brazilian defender sealed a much-anticipated move to the north London club from Villarreal on Wednesday evening.

Arsenal is a very big team and it must always be competing for the biggest titles in the world

Gabriel Paulista

Gabriel emerged as a promising centre-half after he made 50 appearances for the Yellow Submarine during his season-and-a-half stay.

Speaking to Arsenal’s website following his reported £11.3m switch, Gabriel sent a warning short in the direction of Koscielny and Mertesacker.

“I’m coming to a very big club and I know that I will play with great players,” Gabriel told Arsenal’s website.

“While respecting everyone, I want to play for my place in the team. I know that is not going to be easy, I must show my potential, I have to show that I can be in the group, that the manager can count on me.

“The same goes to all my team-mates. I will carry on the same way I have been since the beginning of my career. I have always respected everyone to get to where I am in my career, and I want even more.”

Gabriel, who has won two Campeonato Baiano titles, impressed for Brazilian side Vitoria before he was snapped up by La Liga outfit Villarreal in 2013.

The 24-year-old is looking forward to adding to his medal haul at Emirates Stadium with the help of the north London club’s “real stars”.

“I know that we have great players of a high standard, players who are real stars, because if they were not stars they wouldn’t be here,” Gabriel added in his exclusive first interview with Arsenal’s website.

“Arsenal is a very big team and it must always be competing for the biggest titles in the world. I have to repeat it – Arsenal must fight for all the most important titles around.”

Gabriel becomes Arsenal’s second signing of the January transfer window.

MORE: Read the latest Arsenal player tweets

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